Sep 25, 2012 10:00pm PDT
turns into strong political defenses of areas that are classic waste. brownlee: we spend 2 1/2 times more per capita than the average western european country spends, but the part that i'm most worried about is the waste that actually hurts patients. hill: there's a lot of unnecessary treatment that people undergo. hoffman: i see it every day in real human beings who get enormous amounts of unnecessary testing and enormous amounts of unnecessary treatments, and then the irony, of course, is that when we look at the health olympics and how we come out in the world in terms of health outcomes, we end up doing terribly. you know, we're just below slovenia or next to costa rica. life is so unfair. james: everything we do in healthcare is innately dangerous. it's sometimes extremely difficult to walk that thin line between health and harm, and you step over it fairly routinely. i have cancer, and life as we have known it is over. brownlee: if you add up medical errors, drug interactions and hospital-acquired infections, medicine itself is the third leading cause of death in this country.